Tens of millions of 5G handsets to be sold by 2022


5G to reach 690 million connections and 300 million handset shipments by 2025

The next generation mobile network, 5G, is set for massive growth from 2020 onwards, to be fuelled initially by mobile phone connections in Asia, according to two new reports.

Strategy Analytics has stated that significant work is needed to marry the appeal of a unified early 5G standard with the longer term need to support diverse market requirements. Leading operators such as NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Verizon, AT&T and more cautious European operators are plotting very different 5G paths, with, it seems, the operators based in Asia and the US focusing more on 5G for consumers, while those in Europe are looking closer at opportunities in the Internet of Things (IoT).

One report, titled Global 5G Handset Sales Forecast by Region, predicts 5G commercial handset sales will begin in 2020 and exceed 300 million by 2025.

However, Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, a senior analyst at the research firm, said: “While the first trial 5G handsets in 2018 are expected to have teething problems, including short battery life, no 4G handover or unstable connectivity, by 2020 these issues will be largely resolved, though the first commercial 5G handsets will likely come with very high price tags.”

Meanwhile, Guang Yang, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, commented: “5G network plans have developed well in 2016, driving an ecosystem which will put 7% of mobile connections on 5G networks by 2025.

“China’s 2020 5G launch plans brings it closer to early adopters in the US, South Korea and Japan, who are speeding up progress to meet the broadband access demands from the Olympic Games and competition of non-traditional players. In contrast, European operators are currently paying more attention to opportunities in IoT,” Yang continued.

Ken Hyers, director at Strategy Analytics, added: “While the first commercial 5G handsets will appear in small numbers in 2020 in South Korea and Japan, from 2021 more countries including the US, UK, Sweden, UAE and China will see their own launches. By 2022 tens of millions of 5G handsets will be sold, and as a proportion of total handset sales will reach low single digit percentages.”


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